USA Network was once again the most-watched cable network for 2009. The network boosted its prime-time total audience by 15-percent more than its competitors. Bolstered by USA’s multiple drama series’ like In Plain Sight, Monk, Royal Pains and Burn Notice. They have also dominated the prized 18 to 49 demographic. USA had more total viewers than any other net in cable history, with 3.29 million tuning in during primetime.
Returning series Burn Notice was second in total viewers (7.19 million) to TNT’s The Closer (7.75 million) and tops in 18-49 (3.33 million), according to preliminary 2009 averages (final numbers will be released today). Earlier in the month, USA’s freshman hit White Collar pulled in season-high ratings for its fall finale on Dec. 4 directly after the Monk series ender. USA confirmed the pickup of the show for a second season, but released no details about the size of the order or the premiere date of the second season.
It had solid ratings for the entire run so far, though not as high as the early portion of the first season of USA’s other breakout hits Burn Notice and Royal Pains.
White Collar is slated to return for the second half of its first season on January 20 at 10pm EST.
Over at FX, the motorcycle club drama Sons of Anarchy landed at No. 2 in 18-49 set among shows on all basic cablers, drawing 3.16 million viewers in its sophomore season. It’s not all dramas for FX though. The network launched another successful comedy in The League to follow It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, The League was up 10-percent in the set from 2008.
USA, FX and other cable networks sought to take advantage of the decline in scripted shows on the Big Four broadcast networks by filling the lacking void. USA also took a departure from airing its original content purely on Fridays and is now spreading the drama wealth around the week.
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